I hate writing bios. I will procrastinate until the very last minute. That is exactly what I did when I had to write my bio for the 2012 SAMLA (South Atlantic Modern Language Association) Conference. I am reading on the Creative Nonfiction panel this weekend. The piece I am reading is called Outliers and Outsiders about my first and only experience eating Rocky Mountain Oysters. They are a delicacy in Wyoming. They are not seafood; they are bull balls.
Rocky Mountain Oysters
This is our panel:
185. Text as Memoir: Tales of travel, immigration, and exile
SAMLA Creative Non-Fiction Writers, Session I
Saturday—2:45 pm to 4:15 pm
Empire Ballroom D
Chair: Patricia Leaf-Prince, North Carolina Central University
Secretary: Megan E. Miller-Oteri, East Carolina University
1. Wanna-be, Don’t-wanna-be, or Real? Belonging in America – Lisa Carl,
North Carolina Central University
2. K-Mart and Apple ’84 – Matt Sailor, Georgia State University
3. Montreal – Hayley Hughes, Wright State University
4. Outliers and Outsiders – Megan E. Miller-Oteri, East Carolina University
Here is my bio that will be read by the Chair of the panel to introduce me. I am glad I got that crossed off my to do list. I really do hate writing bios. Speaking about yourself in third person is just weird. My paper is edited and I am almost packed. The conference is in Durham this year so I do not have to travel far this year.
Megan Oteri has lived in every time zone, but her favorite is Mountain Standard Time. She writes about her passion for Wyoming and its mosaic of landscape, nature, people, and lifestyle. It wasn’t love at first sight though. In fact, she thought Wyoming was no man’s land at first. She moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming when she was 15 years old from Chicago. In an attempt to escape the least populated state in the union, she went to college as far away as she could: Providence, Rhode Island. Her classmates and soccer teammates called her “Cheyenne” and “Wyoming.” Having never met anyone from Wyoming, most people believed she rode a horse to school. Each time she took the train home for school breaks, her love affair with Wyoming deepened. There is a beauty to Wyoming you come to know and understand — there is magic in the sky; every night sunsets dance across the horizon in a mural of color. Megan loves Wyoming’s wide open spaces. It is like no other place on Earth. She will always be “Forever West” in her heart; she calls Wyoming home, even though she lives in North Carolina. Her piece, Outliers and Outsiders is about an experience she had shortly after moving to Wyoming from Chicago when she was 15 years old.
Megan has a Masters Degree in English with a concentration in Creative Nonfiction from East Carolina University and a Bachelors Degree in Special and Elementary Education from Providence College. She is a freelance writer and photographer who writes when her toddler sleeps. Her book, Baby Monitor is awaiting publication. She is working on a historic food memoir about her great-grandmother’s catering and hot meal delivery business in Evanston, Illinois that was a model for the nation in the early 1920’s. The Community Kitchen is about women in the kitchen and history in the making. Food = Story.
Another thing that is big news is I received a Regional Artist Project Grant to go to Evanston, Illinois to research The Community Kitchen. I will be able to go in person to the home of the CK and research the archives at the Evanston History Center and Northwestern University’s archives. This is very exciting. Another thing I proudly crossed a rather large to do list today was signing the contract. I actually wrote out a list of all the items I need to bring. I am embracing my love of to do lists. I really do love a to do list that I can cross things off.
PS – I have a zit I have named Sam (in honor of appearing the day before I present at SAMLA) under my left eye. Yes, I am vain. Shame. Shame. It is poetic justice since I did not have acne as a teenager and I am reading a paper about being a teenager. I was not able to cross off: Get rid of zit on my to do list, unfortunately.
What’s on your to do list?
Peace & Poetry.
Hope. Wish. Dream. Be.